Blackwater Holylight – “Blackwater Holylight” (2018)


Label: RidingEasy Records

Review by Warren Mayocchi

Immediately striking about the Blackwater Holylight album cover is the retro styling of the art. This looks like something which would wrap around a late sixties album from Pink Floyd, Deep Purple, The Rolling Stones, or similar. Listening to the album the rock and psychedelic influences of the era are apparent in this self-titled album. At a stylistic level, it would not be hard to think Jefferson Airplane had reformed and created a set of heavy sludgy songs. They have not, of course, this is Blackwater Holylight and they are Allison Faris (vocals/bass), Laura Hopkins (guitars/vocals), Catherine Hoch (drums) and Sarah Mckenna (synths). The band opens the album with “Willow”; a powerful guitar lick, alternated with the tapping of cymbals, which, along with the spaced-out vocals, holds the song for much of the track. It does, of course, explode into much more regularly, so it is a good opener, leading us into what will come next. Over the next forty minutes, the band visits a number of rock-oriented styles with their own signature. “Wave Of Conscience” follows “Willow” with a strong riff becoming drenched in a sludge toward the end, “Babies” continues at a slower pace and more prominent synths. “Paranoia” rounds out the first half with spooky effects and a growing sense of oncoming doom. The second half of the album hits reset with “Sunrise” (listen here), the band hit a groove and rock away – this is one of my favorite tracks for no other reason than it is fun to hear, “Wave of Conscience” is another I like for similar reasons. Afterward, the doom returns, darker than ever, with “Slow Hole”. “Carry Her” lifts the tempo again with an upbeat alt-Eighties sound. The album closes with “Jizz Witch” another sludgy track full of ponderous bass. There is plenty to love on Blackwater Holylight , with the variety of songs there is something for everyone. While the band does have a doom-like heaviness in their style they sound more than powerful enough to wade through the sludge, bring in many influences, and make the swamp their home. This is a good album for a broad range of tastes centered around heavy rock, I expect it will be an album which will be present on a few best of the year lists come December 2018.

Rating – 90/100


  1. Willow
  2. Wave Of Conscience
  3. Babies
  4. Paranoia
  5. Sunrise
  6. Slow Hole
  7. Carry Her
  8. Jizz WItch


Line Up

  • Allison Faris – Vocals & bass
  • Laura Hopkins – Guitars & vocals
  • Sarah Mckenna – Synths
  • Catherine Hoch – Drums

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